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Urban projects: city center of Nouméa

SODEMO, partner of the City of Noumea for "Operation Town Centre"

Noumea's 'Town Centre Sustainable Development Project' was approved in 2010. Its aims are to orient the inner city core toward the waterfront, to make it more attractive, and to plan for 1000 new residential units. "Operation Town Centre" is the expression of this strategy; it focuses on the CBD, the 'Latin Quarter', the Port Moselle district and the waterfront around the inner harbour ('Petite Rade').

To achieve its long-term objectives, the Municipal Council has:
- launched a review and updating of the city's Master Land-use Plan (in progress)
- run an international competition among town-planners and architects for a waterfront development conceptual master-plan
- retained SODEMO to assist and advise for a period of three and a half years
- launched the initial studies for the development of a future multiple-use development area.

With SODEMO's assistance, the Noumea Municipal Council is undertaking a variety of upgrading projects for the urban centre: creation of pedestrian malls, street landscaping, housing and commercial developments on large municipal land holdings such as the "Carré Rolland", extension of the sewage disposal network and its connection to the new waste-water treatment plant, renovation of public facilities such as the central fire-hall, the museums and the youth centre. At the same time, a number of private development projects are being planned for the CBD.

The town centre remains Noumea's main employment pool, and there is a potential to develop an urban complex around the inner harbour district combining waterfront pedestrian walks, shops, outdoor restaurants and bars, housing units, parks, beaches, tourist facilities and services – all the amenities one might expect of a modern capital city.

CSome municipal real estate will be freed in the near future (particularly the central hospital and the detention centre, which are both to be relocated). This, together with the land that the city owns along the inner harbour waterfront, constitutes a great opportunity for development.

"Operation Town Centre" is an invitation to reflect on what tomorrow's city should be like: people-oriented, visitor-friendly, dynamic and capable of sustainable evolution, retaining both its Oceanian and French character. It is a vast undertaking, with 20 years' worth of projects, some of which have already started.